You and your friends may well have worked out that a change of school policy would help a lot of you cope more easily with the difficult business of being a woman and a schoolgirl at the same time. You might want to persuade the Head to allow you to wear trousers, for example, or to permit you to stay inside in the warm at break and lunchtimes; to opt out of games or to convert an unused space into a rest room or a sick bay; or to persuade the staff to give you a week’s notice of homework so that you can plan your lives. One or two of you may have made tentative approaches about it and been turned down, so you could be thinking of forming a pressure group. If you are, remember that there are rules to the game and you are more likely to succeed if you follow them.

Start by involving as many of your parents as you can. Parents are far more influential than they realize. Then try to involve the seniors as well. Half the girls in the fifth form have far more impact than two lone second formers. Assume that the Head and his/her staff will agree with what you say and be sympathetic. Most of them will be, eventually, and those who aren’t will find it more difficult to refuse you if you approach them confidently and politely and obviously expecting a favourable answer. If you are thinking of a petition, take great care with the wording. Get parents to help you. And if you are using a spokeswoman, make sure you send her to plead for you at the right time in her month. Last but not least, try not to look too fierce! A smile gets results much quicker than a scowl. Good luck!


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